Simple Sips Episode 3: A Taste of Portugal

Simple Sips is an exclusive video series from Wine ConneXtion created to provide a virtual tasting experience of product carried in our store. This third episode covers the region of Portugal, where we enjoy a tour of all the great wines Portugal has to offer with special guest host Augusto Gabriel, a representative of M.S. Walker. M.S. Walker is a 5th-generation, family-owned wine and spirits importer and distributor, a spirits bottler, and a national supplier. All products covered in our virtual tasting are available in our store for pickup during normal business hours.


Wine List for Tasting

1. Fonte do Ouro White, $12.99

Vineyard: Fonte do Ouro

Grape Varieties: Encruzado, Arinto

Vinification: Skin contact in the press aromatically enriches the wine. After pressing, the clear juice ferments at 14ºC during 30–40 days in stainless tanks very slowly to keep all the aromas in the wine. Batonage twice a week in the barrels adds volume and complexity to the wine. The wine is then fined, filtered and bottled.

Aging: Stainless steel vats

Tasting Notes: Green color, very aromatic where apple, pear and tropical fruit stand out. On the palate, the wine is fresh with pleasant minerality, with white and yellow fruit, good structure, and volume. The finish is persistent and fresh. Goes well as a starter with seafood and grilled fish.

2. VZ White $24.99

Vineyard: Van Zellers & Co.

Grape Varieties: Viosinho, Rabigato, Codega, Gouveio

Vinification: All grapes are de-storked before being slightly crushed by a pneumatic press and the resulting must decanted for 24 hours at 10 degree celsius in 2500-liter steel vats. The must is racked into new 225 and 500 liter French barrels, where it ferments for 25 + days.

Aging:  9 months in French oak with battonage.

Tasting Notes: VZ White is a fresh and vibrant wine with an intense golden straw colour and a very high concentration of floral and fruity aromas. This is an elegant wine, well-balanced with an impressive acidity.

3. Monte da Vigia Reserva $12.99

Tasting notes: Blend of four different grape varieties, including two indigenous grapes of the region. Little bit of spice. Peppery component. Great everyday wine. Well balanced. Very soft. Can be enjoyed with pasta, pizza and all types of everyday fare.

4. Fonte do Ouro Red $12.99

Vineyard: Fonte do Ouro

Grape Varieties: Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro e Jaen

Vinification: Skin contact at 12ºC for 3 days to aromatically enrich the wine. Fermentation at 24ºC with delestage for 6 days. After malolatic fermentation, the wine stays in stainless tanks until it goes to oak barrels to age for 6 months.

Aging: Second and third use barrels, French oak during 6th month

Tasting Notes: Ruby color with blackcurrant and cherry aromas. The freshness on the palate is complemented by smooth and elegant tannins, which are typical of the Dão wines. Very smooth, pleasant and persistent. Goes well with red meat and oven roasts.

5. Dona Maria Grande Reserva $35.99

Vineyard Dom Martinho

Grape Varieties: 50% Alicante Bouschet, 20% Syrah, 20% Petit Verdot, 10% Touriga Nacional

Vinification: This wine, vinified with selected grapes from old vines, was fermented in ancient marble lagares (open air tanks), using the traditional foot-treading method. Slowly mature in new French oak barrels for one year.

Aging: One year in Hermitage new French oak barrels

Tasting Notes: Dark ruby color, with aromas of wild fruit, spices and mint. The palate is intense and well-rounded, showing silky tannins and a persistent finish.

6. CV Curriculum Vitae Red, $79.99

Vineyard: Van Zellers & Co.

Grape Varieties: 80 year old field blends of over 40 different indigenous grape varieties.

Vinification: Grapes are destalked, and foot trodden in lagares (open air tanks) for 2 days, at a temperature between 16–18°C before fermentation starts, and then fermented in the same lagares(50% of total) and in stainless steel vats (50% of total) with a capacity of 5,000Kgs, for about 8 days, at temperatures kept between 20–26°C. The grapes used for CV—Curriculum Vitae come from plots in our vineyards in the river Torto which have been chosen after many years of experiencing their incredible high quality results. Predominantly north facing, these very old vineyards, with more than 80 years, produce grapes with great freshness and concentration, normally averaging 14.5° Baumé.

Aging: New (75%) and one-year-old (25%) French oak casks, for about 21 months.

Tasting Notes: Incredibly deep violet, dark red and purple colors, with a very high concentration of mature dark red fruit aromas, black cherries and plums. The aging in new oak casks concentrates the mature tannins and helps smooth the wine’s power, resulting in a very elegant wine with great balance and finesse and a long, fruity finish.

Wine descriptions taken from M.S. Walker
Photo credits: M.S. Walker,